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September 16, 2000
Another world record goes downThe Rediff Team
The sizzle in the pool continued, once the women lined up for the 4x100m freestyle relay final.
The starting lineup read: Canada in lane 1, Australia 2, Great Britain 3, the US in 4 as the fastest qualifiers, Netherlands in 5, Germany in 6, Sweden in 7 and Italy in 8.
Australia got off the blocks well, taking the early lead before Canada took over. But by the halfway stage, the US team was powering smoothly, after an uncharacteristically slow start, and had just claimed the lead.
From then on, it was a one-team race -- at the 300m mark, the American split of 2:42.99 was almost a second under the world record split of 2:43.78!
With that kind of platform going into the final lap, there could be only one result -- a world record time of 3:36.61, a good second and more under the old mark of 3:37.91. Interestingly, neither the second-placed Netherlands (3:39.83) nor third-placed Sweden (3:40.30) could get close to the previous world record, never mind the new one.
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